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CLXVIII (F II, 3)

TO C. SCRIBONIUS CURIO (IN ASIA)
ROME (?FEBRUARY)
Rupa 1 was not backward in his wish to promise an exhibition of gladiators in your name, but neither I nor any of your friends approved of anything being done in your absence which would tie your hands when you returned. For my part, I will either write you my opinion at greater length later on, or, to give you no opportunity of preparing an answer to it, I will take you unprepared and state my view by word of mouth against yours. I shall thus either bring you over to my opinion, or at least leave in your mind a record of my view, so that, if at any time (which heaven forbid!) you may see cause to repent of your decision, you may be able to recall mine. Briefly, be assured that your return will find the state of things to be such, that you may gain the highest possible honours in the state more easily by the advantages with which you are endowed by nature, study, and fortune, than by gladiatorial exhibitions. The power of giving such things stirs no feeling of admiration in anyone; for it is wholly a question of means, and not of character—and there is nobody who is not by this time sick and tired of them. But I am not acting as I said I would do, for I am embarking on a statement of the reasons for my opinion. So I will put off this entire discussion to your arrival. Believe me, you are expected with the greatest interest, and hopes are entertained of you such as can only be entertained of the highest virtue and ability. If you are as prepared for this as you ought to be—and I feel certain you are—you will be bestowing on us, your friends, on the whole body of your fellow citizens, and on the entire state, the most numerous and most excellent of exhibitions. You will certainly become aware that no one can be dearer or more precious than you are to me.


1 A freedman and agent of Curio's. The question is of funeral games and an exhibition of gladiators in honour of Curio's father. Curio gave them, and involved himself in huge debt in consequence.

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